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Irene Tinagli is the new chair of the ECON committee. Another woman for a relevant EU job

Irene Tinagli [personal archive]

Italy and the Democratic Party (PD) conserved the top job in the Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs (ECON), as the parliamentary body filled the seat left empty by Roberto Gualtieri by electing Irene Tinagli new president on Monday (16 September). Tinagli got the new role by acclamation.

Initially elected president of the parliamentary body, Gualtieri resigned to take up a post of minister of Economy within the Italian government. A second vote was thus required to have a new ECON president. Politically and geographically speaking nothing changed: Tinagli is an Italian MEP, like Gualtieri.

A good profile

Tinagli, aged 45, is at her first European legislature. She got a degree in Economy in Italy, and went to study to the Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, US. She was then a consultant for the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs, and she also worked as consultant for the European Commission. In 2010 she was appointed Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum. In Italy, as national MP, she sat for three years in the committee on Employment, from March 2015 to March 2018.

The person chosen to lead the ECON committee has thus a good profile. Tinagli is prepared, she knows the subject and the international environment. In particular she knows the world of the EU institutions. The impression is the European Parliament and the MEPs directly involved made the right choice in electing Tinagli, even if at the first appearance in Brussels.

Another woman in command. Mission: a different fiscal policy

For the second time in a decade there a woman will chair the Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs. In 2009 Sharon Bowles, from the UK, received the mandate. Now comes Tinagli.

Nothing to say, this European legislature dresses in rose. Ursula von der Leyen will be the president of the European Commission, Christine Lagarde is going to replace Mario Draghi to the ECB as of 1 November, and now Tinagli is chair of the ECON committee. Europe is driven by the girl power.

Three women in three key position of three different institution is something never seen before in Europe. The Italian Tinagli has the privilege to be part of this new chapter of the EU political history. “I am really honored by this appointment”, she said before stressing the need of a new way of implementing the common fiscal rules.

“We have to work to make sure that the Stability and Growth Pact (SGP) will help Member States on one hand to achieve stability and on the other hand to support the growth that is so needed in the European Parliament”, stressed the new chair of the ECON committee.

SGP can only be changed by the member states. What the decision makers can do is to apply the rules according to the degree of flexibility that is possible to find within the legal framework. This is exactly what Tinagli wants to do: less constraints, more freedoms. Time will tell us whether this approach will be shared at EU level.

Democratic Party even stronger in EP

The Democratic Party was capable of keeping for itself the chair left by Gualtieri. There was a political agreement among political groups according to which the presidency of the ECON committee had to be given to the S&D group. But there was no agreement whatsoever establishing that the presidency had to be given to Italy. The country got the top job twice, and it shows the ability of the second biggest delegation of S&D.

The latest developments in the European Parliament give another reason to Italian social-democrats to be very proud. Tinagli is another further member of PD to have been rewarded with a top job in the EU institution. Thanks to this appointment the Democratic Party has now 7 MEPs in a key positions. This shows once again how many influence can exercise the delegation in shaping the political decision during the next five years.

Tinagli makes even more the Democratic Party the most prominent Italian political family of the country in Brussels and Strasbourg.

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